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1625, Secretary of State. Sir Albertus Morton is
And now all nature seemed in love,
The groves already did rejoice
The friend here alluded to was Isaac Walton, whose fondness and talent for fishing have rendered him immortal. Perbaps a congenial disposition on the part of Sir Henry Wotton, obtained for him in the latter part of his life, the friendship of that worthy man.-The following poem, on a very different su bject, should not be separated from the letter which first accompanied it:
66 To Isaac Walton.,
“My worthy Friend
“ Since last I saw you, I have been confined to my chamber by a quotidian fever, I thank God of more contumacy than malignancy. It had once left me as I thought, but it was only to fetch more company, returning with a surcrew of those vapours that are called hypochondriacal ; of which most say, the cure is good compatiy, and I desire no better physician than yourself. I have in one of those fits endeavoured to make it more easy by composing a short
hymn; and since I have apparelled my thoughts so lightly as in verse, I hope I shall be pardoned a second vanity; in communicating it with such a friend as your self: to whom I wish a cheerful spirit, and a thankful beart to value it, as one of the greatest blessings of our good God, in whose dear love I leave you, remaining Your poor friend to serve you,
A Hymn to my God, in a night of my late Sicknes.
Oh! thou great power! in whom I move,
For whom I live, to whom I die,
Whilst on this couch of tears I lie;
No hallowed oils, no grains I need,
No rags of saints, no purging fire;
Was worlds of seas to quench thine ire !
And said by him, that said no more,
But sealed it with his sacred breath :
And dying wast the death of death,
Upon the sudden restraint of the Earl of Somerset,
then falling from favour.
Dazzled thus with height of place,
Whilst our hopes our wits beguile,
'Twixt a prison and a smile!
Then since fortune's favours fade,
You that in her arms do sleep,
For the hearts of kings are deep. ,. it
Then, though darkened, you shall say,
When friends fail, and princes frown,
This was written of course in 1615, and may be considered one of the earliest poems of Sir Henry Wotton extant.
The Character of a happy life.
How happy is he born and taught,
That serveth not another's will!
And simple truth his utmost skill.
Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death;
Of public fame, or private breath.
Nor vice hath ever understood;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good.
Who hath his life from rumour freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat,
Nor ruin make oppressors great.
More of his grace than gifts to lend :
With a religious book, or friend.
This man is freed from servile bands,
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall :
the Queen, after his Coronation there.
Though now our green conceits be grey,
To take thy Phrygian harp and play,